How to Overcome 8 Most Common Challenges as a Freelancer

Niku Mandal Niku Mandal Atish Ranjan Das Atish Ranjan Das
Jan 8, 2020 5 min read
How to Overcome 8 Most Common Challenges as a Freelancer

When talking of the freelancing scenario in the country, it is widely estimated that by the year 2025, the ‘freelancers’ market of India will grow to a whopping $20-30 billion. Nearly 23% of these Indian freelancers have annual earnings of ₹60 lakh and lie under the age of 40.

With the rise of the entrepreneurship culture in India, freelancing is more popular than ever. The best paying freelancing jobs in India are Web Development, Graphic Designing, Social Media Specialist, Accountant, Digital Marketing, and Content Writing. Contrary to the common beliefs, the freelancing business is not all about perks, the challenges form an ample share of this work culture.

Most Common Challenges Faced By a Freelancer and How to Overcome Them

ways to overcome challenges faced by freelancer
Ways to overcome challenges faced by the freelancer

Managing Time
plan
Finding work
Not Getting Paid for Work
Working alone
Creative Block
Completing Works Before Deadlines
Procrastination or De-motivation
No Consistent Work

Managing Time

One of the major challenges one faces as a freelancer is time management. As the line between private time and working hours gets blurred, the subject becomes quite a complicated issue. Flexible working hours were one of the major reasons that made you consider freelancing. But once your work starts getting affected by  ‘flexibility’, it is not a perk anymore.

How to manage your time effectively?

Time can be effectively managed by having a proper plan of the day to day activities. Effective planning is considered the most important aspect of time management.

plan

How to plan your tasks for efficiency?

Constantly updating your calendar with your work assignments, keeping track of how much time you spent on every task, setting per day goals, and working with time reports will help you stay ahead in the game. The best part? You don’t even have to do all of that manually. Freelancing tools like Freedom, Tomato Timer, RescueTime, and Freework enable you to do just that with a click of a button.

Finding Work

If you have already had your first brush with freelancing, you know what a major challenge can this be. As more and more freelancers join the workforce, the competition gets only tougher each day. Nobody wants to end up with months of unemployment and rejection.

How to find more work projects as a freelancer?

There are a large number of online platforms out there that enable service providers and recruiters to come together and benefit from each other. Content mart, Truelancer, Freelancer, Upwork, and Fiverr are some of such popular services, catering to this purpose. Building your brand, keeping an attractive portfolio, Connecting with more people and Active networking helps you increase your probability of finding work.

Not Getting Paid for Work

Being a freelancer also means not getting paid sometimes. As you gain experience you eventually learn to protect yourself from non-paying clients. But in the interim, you might even find yourself running after your client to pay you for what you deserve.

How to overcome Notorious Clients?

Insist your employer on making a contract before you offer your confirmation and start working on the project. Or better yet, make the process easier for your client and make one yourself, and get your client’s approval. There are several tools like Bonsai, Termsfeed, and Freelancy that help you with the legal issues and generate a contract on your own. In the absence of any job securities, contracts protect your interests as a freelancer

working alone

working alone
Working alone

Surprised!? It might have been one of the major reasons why you had quit your job. Turns out it doesn't hurt to have a team, behind your back, who support you when an assignment is becoming too hard and keep updating you with their feedback as you progress. Unless your profits are great, you can’t even hire an assistant and once you accept an assignment, there is no backing out. You are all alone in this.

How not be lonely as a freelancer?

Find a freelancer community where you can interact and learn from the experiences of many more of your kind. Platforms like these help you build networks and help you find a support system, wherein you can share your doubts and discuss your problems openly. Taking regular breaks from work and turning to your friends and family for some ‘out’ time helps.

Creative Block

One of the major challenges you face as a freelancer is getting stuck in a creative block, this not only hampers your learning but also makes things monotonous.

How to overcome Creative Block?

Keep updating your style sense with new trends. Try looking for inspiration in new places and give your old style a break. You can even start with some intense brainstorming sessions instead of directly coming to work. The bottom line is, don’t hesitate to explore new genres and styles, even if they lie out of your comfort zone.

Completing Works Before Deadlines

This is also a part of time management. Becoming a freelancer might be easy, getting work also might be easy. But you have to learn to set deadlines. Often, the client will ask to complete a task immediately or give you work to complete within a short period. This is a common challenge that many freelancers face.

How to complete projects on time?

Do not hurry while planning the task. Making decisions based on assumptions should be avoided. Taking time to plan the work deadline is a good idea. If any client wants service in urgency then try communicating with them. Tell them why you need that specific time to complete and that the quality of work will suffer if you do it in urgency.

Procrastination or De-motivation

You can't be self-motivated every time and this is a common problem in every profession whether you are doing a job or working as a freelancer. Even sometimes you may feel unwell and postpone your work. Taking a break is not a problem but if you want to become a successful freelancer then you have to work hard without any break.

How to overcome De-motivation?

Plan every day and Setting long-term goals can be difficult to accomplish results in de-motivation, so divide your goals and set targets daily. If you feel demotivated anytime, check the good feedbacks which you have received from your clients and also don't forget to reward yourself for every goal you achieve.

No Consistent Work

Freelancers face this problem so often. Sometimes they get a load of work but the next month there is little work or even no job. In India, the competition among freelancers is very high, but to survive this race you have to find a way.

How to overcome the Inconsistency?

Don't depend on the clients you are working for. Research other online platforms searching for work. Getting work constantly is very difficult, so creating your profile on websites like Fiverr, People Per Hour, etc, and doing something different with your gig which makes you stand out might help you to make money consistently.

Conclusion

Challenges are everywhere no matter what career field you choose but this is the right time when you should start freelancing and build your own business. We are living in a digital era where we have all the resources and opportunities we need to grow and bring the best out of ourselves. There are also many freelancing communities out there from where you can get the support you need to grow your freelancing business. As when you work with a team you can overcome challenges easily and can bring your freelancing career to another level.

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